A DIY tinker has created something very interesting using a 17-year-old fourth-generation iPod. For those who may not have been around during the fourth-generation iPod era, it’s the old one with the big click wheel and monotone screen. The guy behind the project says that he was given a bag of old iPods and decided to modify one.
His goal was to add modern features to the iPod, including streaming music, search, and Bluetooth audio support. The result is a project called sPot that features streaming and search capability from Spotify. He built the user interface from scratch using Python, but it’s based on the original iPod experience.
Full control for the device is via the classic click wheel, and the iPod offers haptic feedback. He also integrated a micro USB port for charging, and the hardware inside running the show is the Raspberry Pi. Since the device uses a Raspberry Pi inside, it’s also running Linux. Other hardware includes a standard rechargeable lithium-ion battery charged via a 500 ma Adafruit USB charger and boosted to 5V using Adafruit PowerBoost Basic.
The internal Raspberry Pi and display run on 5V. The click wheel is connected to the original iPod motherboard using an eight-pin FPC cable. An FPC breakout board connected the click will controllers required cables directly to the Raspberry Pi. The design repurposes the original lock switch of the iPod to control device power.
The operating system running the show is Raspberry Pi OS Lite. Spotify streaming is enabled via Raspotify. The builder said it was surprisingly easy to enable Spotify streaming on the old hardware. The result is a device that looks very retro yet supports modern features.